Most helpful positive review
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Great knives, but I miss having a boning knife.
on February 27, 2012
We've had these for 2 months. I waited this long to review them because I wanted to see if they would rust. I typically put the knives in the dishwasher, though I'm careful that the blades aren't rubbing against something else. The steak knives do sometimes come out of the dishwasher showing spots of rust that you can wipe off with a towel, but the kitchen knives do not. Stainless steel will do that, especially the cheap stuff. It isn't really rust, in the sense that it will eat through the knife. It's more like a stain. The two types of knives are made with different steel. The kitchen knives are German steel, shipped to China for forging. The steak knives are Chinese steel, stamped in China. I suppose China can make good steel, but this particular steel isn't as good as the German stuff. Having said that, the steak knives are very nice. They are partly serrated and partly straight blade, and cut through meat, cheese and veggies on your plate very well. The stamped steak knives are a hollow grind, but the kitchen knives are a convex grind, which are easier to keep sharp and have less drag when cutting through something thick, like when skinning a melon. Our last set of knives lasted us 20 years, but they were all stamped hollow grinds, which aren't as durable a grind, and don't take honing as easy as these do. An interesting comparison between our old, but trusty knives was how they sound. When you tap them on something, these Calphalon kitchen knives sound like a sword ringing against something, while the old knives and the Calphalon steak knives make a thud. No idea what that means, but it's intriguing.
The Calphalon knives do take honing well. They seem to require different angles against the honing tool, depending on the knife, though. Once you learn what they like, you can keep them sharp very easily. I've taken to strapping them against some old jeans material after honing, which gets them even sharper. They stay sharp as well as I expect. I've never been impressed with any knife's ability to stay sharp. They all seem to stay decently sharp, but need frequent honing to stay at peak sharpness. At least these don't get nicks in the blade if you accidentally hit something with them.
Another reviewer mentioned that they are too thick. This is true of the big chef's knife, which has a large, thick blade that tapers to a very fine edge. This might be good for heavy duty cutting, but I like the thinner santoku knife much better than the chef's knife, which I hardly ever use. That chef's knife feels like something with which to hack through the jungle. I really miss having a long, thin boning knife to skin things, like melons. The parer and utility knives are not thin and flexible, but that's pretty normal for these types of knives. They do good for slicing and dicing, but not skinning stuff. The bread knife works great for me, though. The slicer is great for carving sturdy stuff up, like a brisket.
Fortunately, the block comes with two extra slots. One large one, and one small one. I'm looking for a boning knife to fill the vacant small slot, and find it strange that Calphalon doesn't sell one that matches this set. I don't know what kind of knife I'd want for the vacant large slot, as I'm happy with the slicer, bread and santoku knives, and don't feel the need for another big knife. I'll keep the heavy duty chef's knife for safaris, Halloween, or sword fighting.
The shears are nice, and cut through stuff that your regular scissors have a hard time denting, like tough plastic packaging. Finally, the block looks nice and has a better finish than some other blocks out there. Like all finishes, the finish will scratch, so be careful when you slide knives into it, especially the scissors, which can easily scratch the visible front part of the block if you aren't careful. Rub some walnuts on scratchs to help cover them up. It's a decent color match.
I bought these on sale at Macy's for $50 less than Amazon, BTW.